Business rates forms and reliefs

On this page we provide information about business rates reliefs, and forms to apply for relief, to make a payment, or to tell us about changes that may affect your business rates.

Discretionary Retail Discount

Effective 1st April 2020 to 31 March 2021

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, in the Budget on 11 March 2020 the Government announced that it would increase the Retail Discount to 100% and extend it to include leisure and hospitality sectors.

Following the announcement on 23 March 2020 of further measures to limit the spread of coronavirus, the Government confirmed that some of the exclusions for this relief have been removed, so that retail, leisure, and hospitality properties that will have had to close as a result of the restriction measures will now be eligible for the relief. 

To qualify for the discount the property must be:

  • Occupied and trading as at 11 March 2020
  • Be used by visiting members of the public
  • Must be wholly or mainly being used as a shop, restaurant, cafe, drinking establishment, cinema, live music venue, establishment for assembly and leisure, a hotel, guest and boarding premises, self-catering accommodation or an Ofsted registered nursery

(The above list is not conclusive)

 

Ratepayers that occupy more than one property will be entitled to the discount for each of their eligible properties. No state aid restrictions apply.

Your property will not get a discount if its being used for the following:

  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, short-term loan providers)
  • Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/financial advisers)
  • Post office sorting office

 

Effective 1st April 2019 to 31 March 2020

The Borough Council adopted a Local Rate Relief Policy in response to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's announcement at Autumn Budget 2018. Eligible retailers received a one third discount on their business rates bills for up to two years from 1 April 2019. All awards were made under Section 31 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 as revised.

The Retail Discount provided one third off the bill for occupied shops, pubs and restaurants with a rateable value of £51,000 or below for two years up to the State Aid restrictions, from 1st April 2019. However, the scheme has since been amended with effect from 1st April 2020, as detailed above.

How to apply

A written application for a discount award under this policy is required. The application must be made on the form designed for this purpose which is below.

Small business rate relief

Small Business Rate Relief 2010/11 - 2016/17

If a ratepayer occupied either a single property with a Rateable Value (RV) less than £18,000 or a main property plus additional properties with RV's less than £2,600 totalling less than £18,000, the ratepayer could apply for mandatory relief. Eligible ratepayers would receive 50% relief on properties less than £6,000. Properties with RV's between £6,000 and £11,999 would be eligible for tapered relief and properties over £12,000 would be calculated using the lower, small business rates multiplier.

 

Small Business Rate Relief 2017/18 - 2021/22

From 1 April 2017 the thresholds for Small Business Rate Relief have changed.

If a ratepayer occupies either a single property with a Rateable Value (RV) less than £15,000 or a main property plus additional properties with RV's that do not exceed £2,899, and totalling less than £20,000 the ratepayer can apply for mandatory relief.

Eligible Small Businesses that occupy a property with an RV less than £12,000 will be eligible for 100% relief. Whilst ratepayers who occupy properties with RV's between £12,000 and £15,000 will receive tapered relief from 100%-1%.

For occupied properties with a RV between £15,001 and £50,999 the Small Business Multiplier will be used.

You do not have to make a fresh application if you are already in receipt of relief. If you have not already applied for relief and you feel you could qualify, an application form is available. Please contact us. Our contact details are in the contact panel on the right of this page. Alternatively, you can download the Small Business Rate Relief application form below:

Supporting Small Business Relief - Spring Budget 2017 Relief Scheme

Ratepayers losing Small Business Rates Relief or Rural relief as a result of the 2017 revaluation will receive this relief for up to 5 years by ensuring that the increase per year in their bills is limited to the greater of:

  • A cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month). This cash minimum increase ensures that those ratepayers currently paying nothing or very small amounts are brought into paying something, or
  • The matching cap on increases for small properties in the transitional relief scheme.

Businesses eligible for assistance under this scheme have been identified and re-billed accordingly.

Discretionary Rate Relief - Spring Budget 2017 Relief Scheme

Businesses that face increases in their Business Rates bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation. The Government calculated West Lancashire's share of the £300m national pot as £288,889 which will be allocated over 4 years. Businesses that are eligible under this scheme will be contacted and asked to confirm relevant details. If you receive an application form, please complete and return as soon as possible.

Pub Relief - Spring Budget 2017 Relief Scheme

Effective from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2019

In the Spring Budget on 8 March 2017 the chancellor announced that eligible pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 would receive a discount of up to £1,000 on their bill. The relief was also applicable during year 2018/19 but not available for 2019/20. Applications under this scheme closed 30 September 2019.

Effective from 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021

The Government has reintroduced Pub Relief for 2020/21 and similarly eligible pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 will receive a discount of up to £1,000 on their bill. In order to apply for assistance under this scheme you are required to complete the application form below:

Transitional Relief

Transitional Relief is a Government scheme which ensures that large increases or large decreases in rates bills which are due to the revaluation are phased in gradually over a number of years. Transitional arrangements help to phase in the effects of these changes by limiting the amount by which a bill may rise following a revaluation. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills after revaluation, there also have to be limits on reductions in bills.

Any transitional adjustments will be calculated automatically by the Council and shown on the front of your bill.

Charity relief

If a property is occupied by a charity and used for charitable purposes 80% mandatory rate relief will be granted. To apply contact the business rates section. Contact details are in the contact panel on the right of this page.

Discretionary relief

If a property is occupied by a non-profit making organisation (e.g. a sports club) the ratepayer can apply for discretionary rate relief. To apply contact the business rates section. Contact details are in the contact panel on the right of this page.

Registered community amateur sports club relief

If a property is occupied by a Registered CASC 80% mandatory rate relief will be granted. To apply contact the business rates section. Contact details are in the contact panel on the right of this page.

Rural rate relief

If a property is the only post office, general store, public house or petrol filling station situated in a settlement appearing on the rural settlement list the ratepayer will be eligible for 50% mandatory relief. We have the discretion to grant up to 100%. Both mandatory and discretionary relief is subject to rateable value restrictions. See if your business is in a qualifying area:

Partly-occupied rate relief (section 44a)

A property which is partially empty for a short period of time can be granted relief on the unoccupied portion at the discretion of the billing authority based on a certificate issued by a Valuation Officer. To apply contact the business rates section. Contact details are in the contact panel on the right of this page.

Unoccupied property relief

All empty properties are exempt of rates for a short period starting from when they first fall empty. It is a 3 month exemption for shops and offices, and 6 months for industrial premises (factories, workshops and warehouses). After the exemption period, the premises will be billed at a rate equivalent to the occupied charge. Certain classes of property are exempt for however long they remain unused - please contact the business rates office via the bills and benefits - enquiry form . To apply contact the business rates section. Contact details are in the contact panel on the right of this page.

Hardship relief

A ratepayer can apply for discretionary relief if they can prove they're suffering from severe hardship and that it is in the interests of local council tax payers to grant relief. To apply contact the business rates section. Contact details are in the contact panel on the right of this page.

Change of occupier

If you move into new premises, or move out of your premises, or change our property, you need to tell us.

Methods of payment

Visit the pay a bill page to make a payment or for more information about payment methods.

Contact us

If the document you require is  not available or you have any other enquiry please contact us. Contact details are in the contact panel on this page.